"Avocados also exceed other fruits as a source of the potent antioxidant lutein, according to Susan Bowerman, R.D., a registered dietitian at the University of California at Los Angeles Center for Human Nutrition. Lutein may also safeguard your cardiovascular system from atherosclerosis (or hardening of the arteries) and prevent prostate cancer."

Discusses research being done on the role of avocado extract in fighting prostate cancer. Reference to a study by J. R. Zhang et al published in a 2005 issue of the "Journal of Nutrition and Biochemistry"; Effects of whole avocado extract with lutein.

Avocados Fight Prostate Cancer

In a new test-tube study, avocado extract inhibited pros-
tate cancer cell growth by up to 60 percent. Researchers
at the University of California–Los Angeles compared
the effects of whole avocado extract with those of
lutein, one of the carotenoids found in avocados, to
see if avocado’s bene?ts were simply due to lutein.
While whole avocado had a signi?cant effect, lutein
alone had virtually none. It is not yet clear whether
avocado’s apparent effects are due to monounsaturated
fat, vitamin E, or other nutrients working alone or in
Lu QY, Arteaga JR, Zhang Q, et al. Inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth by an avocado extract:
role of lipid-soluble bioactive substances. J Nutr Biochem. 2005;16:23-30.

Oranges and Bananas May Reduce
Childhood Leukemia Risk
Little has been known about diet’s in?uence on child-
hood leukemia, but a new study shows that certain
fruits may reduce risk of the disease. Researchers at the
University of California–Berkeley reviewed the diets of
328 children with leukemia and 328 matched controls.
After adjusting for various lifestyle and dietary factors,
the researchers found that the consumption of oranges,
bananas, or orange juice at least four to six days per
week during the ?rst two years of life was associated
with a signi?cantly reduced risk of leukemia for 2-
through 14-year-olds. Oranges are packed with vitamin
C, a powerful antioxidant that may prevent oxidative
damage to DNA and the initiation of carcinogenesis.
Bananas and oranges are also rich in potassium, which
epidemiologists believe may have anticarcinogenic
properties. Vitamin C has also been shown to increase
intracellular potassium intake.
Kwan ML, Block G, Selvin S, et al. Food consumption by children and the risk of childhood acute
leukemia. Am J Epidemiol. 2004;160:1098-107.

Animal Products Increase Ovarian
Cancer Risk
Consumption of animal products was associ-
ated with a signi?cant increase in ovarian
cancer risk in a new Canadian study
of more than 2,500 women. The re-
searchers found that women with the
highest intake of cholesterol (found
only in animal products) had a 40
percent higher risk of ovarian cancer
than women with the lowest choles-
terol consumption. They also found that
women with the highest egg consump-
tion had a 30 percent increased risk of
the disease. In contrast, women with
the highest total vegetable and crucifer-
ous vegetable intake lowered their ovar-
ian cancer risk by nearly 25 percent.
Pan SY, Ugnat AM, Mao Y, et al. A case-control study of diet and the risk of ovarian
cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers. 2004;13:1521-7.

Link between Meat and Colon
Cancer Grows Stronger
The less red and processed meat people eat, the lower
their risk of colon cancer, according to a major new
study published in the Journal of the American Medi-
cal Association. In the Cancer Prevention Study II
Nutrition Cohort, involving 148,610 adults followed
since 1982, the group with the highest meat intake had
an approximately 50 percent higher colon cancer risk
compared to those with lower intakes. Although previ-
ous studies have shown the same association, the large
study population and the long duration of the study
provide compelling evidence of the link between meat
and colorectal cancer.
Chao A, Thun MJ, Connell CJ, et al. Meat consumption and risk of colorectal cancer. JAMA.

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the beautiful side of avocados

Ranked by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's most nutritious fruit, avocados offer a wealth of health and beauty benefits. Beloved around the world for their buttery richness and subtle nutty flavor, avocados are the fruit of Persea americana, a tall evergreen tree native to the subtropical Americas.

Health Benefits Galore

Until fairly recently, avocados were shunned because of their high fat content — almost three-quarters of an avocado is pure fat. But the fat found in avocados is of the health-protective monounsaturated variety, primarily oleic acid. Avocados contain more than 20 beneficial nutrients, including potassium, folate, copper, and vitamins C, B6, E, and K.
In numerous studies, the oleic acid found in avocados has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. In one study, researchers compared a diet high in complex carbohydrates to a diet rich in avocados and other monounsaturated fatty acids. While both diets lowered total cholesterol levels, the avocado-enriched diet lowered cholesterol almost twice as much. Even more significant was that levels of beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol decreased by 13.9 percent on the high complex carbohydrate diet but remained steady on the avocado diet. Because HDL helps protect heart health, it's essential to consume foods that help lower overall cholesterol while maintaining or increasing levels of HDL.

In addition to keeping the cardiovascular system healthy, avocados are proving to be important dietary allies in preventing cancer. Many studies have shown that oleic acid protects cells against the mutations that lead to cancer. Avocados also contain a variety of anticancer antioxidants, including vitamin E and the carotenoids lutein, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin. Because carotenoids are best absorbed into the bloodstream when combined with dietary fat, avocados provide the perfect vehicle for delivering these nutrients to the cells.

Avocado oil is another delicious way of obtaining the health benefits of avocados. Cold-pressed from avocado pulp (minus the seed and skin), the oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and low in saturated fats. Unrefined avocado oil is a vibrant green color, with an aroma similar to a combination of artichokes and celery and a rich avocado flavor. With a smoke point higher than any other vegetable or nut oil, avocado oil is a good choice for sautéing and is delicious in salad dressings and other cold dishes.

Glowing Skin, Shiny Hair

For optimal health and beauty, include avocados and avocado oil in your skin, hair, and body care products as well as your diet. The healthy fats in avocados and their oil are ideal skin and hair moisturizers and are excellent for dry skin, including stubborn skin problems such as eczema.

Researchers have found that avocado oil is more penetrating than commonly used oils such as almond, olive, safflower, and soy. Because of its excellent absorption, avocado oil is an ideal medium for transporting active ingredients beneath the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) into the dermis, the deeper layer of the skin where cellular renewal takes place.

Avocado oil also has natural sunscreen properties, and can enhance the ability of products to protect the skin and hair from UVA and UVB rays. In tests, avocado oil proved to be a more effective sunscreen than jojoba, coconut, olive, sesame, and almond oils.

Products for Beauty, Health & Home Cooking

From left to right: Burt's Bees AVOCADO BUTTER HAIR TREATMENT

Nutramax AVOCA ASU

holy guaca mole! more reasons to slice and dice Avocados can help increase your absorption of carotenoids from vegetables. Here are the delicious details.

Enjoying avocado in your salad or salsa will not only add a rich, creamy flavor, but will also increase your body's ability to absorb the health-promoting carotenoids that vegetables provide.

A study in the Journal of Nutrition tested the theory that since carotenoids are lipophilic (fat-loving, which means they are soluble in fat, not water), consuming carotenoid-rich foods along with monounsaturated-fat-rich avocado may enhance their bioavailability.

Not only did adding avocado to a salad of carrot, lettuce, and baby spinach or to salsa greatly increase study participants' absorption of carotenoids from these foods, but the improvement in carotenoid availability occurred when as little as 2 ounces of avocado were added.

Adding avocado to salad made absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein 7.2, 15.3, and 5.1 times higher, respectively, than the average amount of these carotenoids absorbed from avocado-free salad.
Adding avocado to salsa made lycopene and beta-carotene absorption 4.4 and 2.6 times higher, respectively, than the average amount of these nutrients absorbed from avocado-free salsa. Avocados contain a variety of nutrients, so eating a little avocado with carotenoid-rich vegetables and fruits is a good way to improve your body's ability to absorb carotenoids.

By Laurel Vukovic

DERIVED FROM AVOCADO and soybean oils, avocado/soybean unsaponifiables {ASU) are among the most promising arthritis remedies. Four high-quality clinical trials suggest that ASU supplements can improve the pain and stiffness of knee and hip osteoarthritis (OA) and reduce the need for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). ASU appears to decrease inflammation and stimulate cartilage repair. Jason Theodosakis, MD, author of The Arthritis Cure and champion of glucosamine and chondroitin, believes ASU will have a major impact on treatment of OA. In France, supplements of ASU have been approved as a prescription drug. In other countries, they are available in the supplement section of health food stores (see product sidebar for an example). A typical dose is 300 mg per day. It usually takes between two weeks and two months to take effect. Studies have found no additional benefit with higher doses. The safety of ASU has not been established in children or pregnant or nursing women. Unfortunately for avocado lovers, eating avocado (and soy), even in large amounts, will not provide enough of the unsaponifiables to have a therapeutic effect. Only 1/100th of the oil is the unsaponifiable variety.